Bible Review 13:1, February 1997

Who the Devil is Beelzebul?

By Bradley L. Stein

Three passages in the Synoptic Gospels identify the enigmatic figure of Beelzebul as the ruler of demons (Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15). In each of these passages, Jesus’ enemies attribute his ability to heal to the powers of “Beelzebul, the prince of demons.”a No more information is given. Other verses where Beelzebul appears (Matthew 10:25, 27; Luke 11:18, 19) are even less helpful, mentioning only his name. That’s it. There are no references to Beelzebul in early Jewish literature—or in any other early literature, for that matter.1

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